Since it was established in 2013, the Broadcast Ready Expert Women campaign has helped increase the pool of expert women for journalists to choose from, and the number of expert women on air. The campaign is results driven – not just talk – which means we work with journalists to secure interviews on the news for our Broadcast Ready Expert Women.
The BBC, ITV News, Channel 4 News, Sky News and 5 News are being monitored on a monthly basis as part of an initiative called Expert Women. Professor Lis Howell, the director of broadcasting at City University who held editorships at GMTV and Sky News, and Lisa Campbell, the (now former) editor of Broadcast magazine, founded Expert Women. The co-founders presented a pledge to British broadcasters that 30% of the experts on their programmes should be female experts, Channel 4 News and Sky News were the first to sign it. ITN ITV News and BBC News have their own internal Expert Women initiatives that we support, alongside initiatives of other broadcasters.
What’s vital here is that corporations select good female experts as their company spokespeople, as well as males. It’s essential that the public relations departments put in a continued effort over many years ensuring that they are putting forward expert women to get on air. The more broadcast interviews experts do, the better they should get at it, Jeremy Corbyn is an example. He didn’t used to be very good on TV at all, until he got a lot of practice at them during the General Election. If this campaign is sustained over just a few years, it will just be a vogue trend rather than evolutionary change. So, if you want to be part of an evolutionary change for yourselves, your generation and generations to come, including your daughter(s) if you have one, we need to act now – not just discuss it.
How should we act? Corporations and broadcasters need to financially invest time and money into achieving the goal. Contact Kerry Hopkins for strategic counsel and a plan.
“It’s vital that women, particularly those in business, are seen as experts and authority figures. Some firms already support the idea of more women on their executive boards and it would be great if this were to be reflected in the spokespeople and experts fielded on TV and radio programmes. Broadcast Ready will help those companies do this, and will help build confidence and broadcasting expertise for the female experts of the future.” – Professor Lis Howell, Director of Broadcasting at City University London, co-founder of Expert Women and Special Advisor to the House of Lords Inquiry about women on air